Michael Patrick Thornton Named 2019 Performing Arts iBAM! Awardee


Michael Patrick Thornton (Co-Founder, Artistic Director: The Gift Theatre) recently appeared in The Gift production of Doubt at Steppenwolf, in Nassim (Barrow St./New York City Center) in Steppenwolf’s The Crucible, as King Richard in The Gift’s Richard III at Steppenwolf, in Gift ensemble member Will Eno’s Title and Deed (Lookingglass) directed by Gift ensemble member Marti Lyons, the nationally-acclaimed premiere of Gift ensemble member Andrew Hinderaker’s Colossal as well as Othello at The Gift (Iago) directed by longtime pal/collaborator Jonathan Berry. Michael appeared in Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Our Town and Will Eno’s Middletown at Steppenwolf, both directed by theatre wizard Les Waters. Michael played the title role in Steppenwolf’s The Elephant Man, directed Steppenwolf’s Of Mice and Men, and was a very grateful assistant director for Steppenwolf’s August: Osage County. 

As a director, Michael most recently directed the premieres of fellow Gift ensemble member David Rabe’s Good For Otto and Cosmologies.

A Joseph Jefferson Award-winning actor for Solo Performance in Conor McPherson’s The Good Thief (The Gift) Michael was nominated for a Best Actor Jeff Award (Suicide, Incorporated) and Best Director Jeff Award (Good For Otto).

Awards: Best Actor: 2017 Midwest International Film Festival (The View From Tall); Tree of Life Award: Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago; Chicago Finalist: National Shakespeare Contest (Mitzi-Newhouse Theatre; Lincoln Center); 3Arts Artist Award; Northlight Theatre’s Jack Springer Award for Outstanding Performance; The Tim Meier & Helen Coburn Meier Foundation Achievement Award; The Second City Foundation’s Jim Zulevic Chicago Arts Award; The Joseph Jefferson Award for Solo Performance; and induction into The University of Iowa and St. Patrick High School Halls of Fame.

TV/Film: Away, Madam Secretary, Magnum P.I., Counterpart, The Red Line, Elementary, The Exorcist, The Chicago Code, Jeri’s Grill, The Jamz, Private Practice, The View from Tall, The Dilemma. Michael is the creator of the acclaimed improv show YOU & ME which The Chicago Reader calls “masterful.” YOU & ME recently played at Bewley’s Cafe Theatre in Dublin, Ireland.

He lives blissfully in the Jefferson Park neighborhood of Chicago with his wife, the performance artist Lindsey Barlag Thornton.